The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has granted an exemption to allow sheep to be exported on the MV Al Kuwait and sent to the Middle East.
The MV Al Kuwait will be released from quarantine in the coming days after being detained due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the vessel and will be ready to load livestock and fodder soon after.
The exemption was granted to Rural Export and Trading WA, who says it has never been more important to value and service Australia's live-ex trade partner relationships..
The importer, Kuwait Livestock Transport and Trading Co, has been a long-term trade partner with Australia buying over 30 million sheep worth nearly $ 1.9 billion since 1989, RETWA says.
The history of the live sheep trade is linked back to Kuwait's early interest in Australia as a supplier, as far back as 1963.
Since then the trade relationships have grown exponentially.
KLTT have been the major supplier of Australian sheep to all the markets in the Arabian Gulf region with shipments regularly unloading livestock at multiple ports/countries. For decades families across the Gulf have had access to healthy, fresh sheep meat and benefited from our sheep producers and the long-term trade partnership between KLTT and Australia.
"The ventilation, livestock heat tolerance, and weather forecasts have been reviewed with expert advice. In making this submission RETWA believes all identified risks can be mitigated and managed accordingly. All the science has been reviewed and we have appropriate measures in place, " says Mike Gordon General Manager RETWA.
The new application dated 9 June 2020 is specific for the MV Al Kuwait and includes risk mitigations for protecting animal welfare. The Al Kuwait is the fastest and most technically advanced vessel servicing the Gulf region. The ventilation, livestock heat tolerance, and weather forecasts have all been reviewed internally and with external expert advice.
"There are appropriate risk management practices and plans in place to ensure the health and welfare of the sheep during the voyage are protected." says Mr Gordon.